With just 6 simple ingredients (including nutrient-packed quinoa), these Cauliflower Tots are a healthy homemade finger food the kids (and the parents) will enjoy. Bonus: They reheat from frozen beautifully!

cauliflower tots on white plate

Cauliflower Tots

I love to use wholesome ingredients and produce to make kid-friendly foods that are easy and fun to eat. These Cauliflower Tots, which are a homemade take on the classic tater tot and all of the frozen tots now available in most stores, are a toddler dinner or lunch option that I turn to regularly.

We love these tots alongside chicken and a simple side of veggies, but they are also balanced with a mix of nutrients, so they’re a pretty great stand alone meal with some fruit.

The tots are delicious dipped into a favorite sauce or condiment (like ketchup) and can also be reheated quickly for lunch.

And for kids who may not like the flavor of quinoa on its own, this can be a way to try it in a new form.

ingredients-in-cauliflower-tots

Ingredients You Need

The six ingredients combine to make tots that are slightly crunchy on the outside, tender in the middle, and packed with fiber, protein, and subtle flavor that pairs really well with ketchup and Ranch!

Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Fully cooked quinoa
  • Cauliflower: You can use raw florets or riced cauliflower.
  • Egg
  • Shredded cheese: Try cheddar, mozzarella, or an Italian blend.
  • Breadcrumbs: I usually use plain, but you can use Italian-flavored if you like.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour works well here.

TIP: Everything comes together in the food processor and you can cook the quinoa ahead of time so it’s ready to go when it’s time to make the tots.

how to make cauliflower tots step by step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the simple process involved in making these Cauliflower Tots. Scroll down to see the full recipe at the bottom of this post.

  1. Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet. Let the cauliflower soften in boiling water.
  2. Drain and pat dry with a towel.
  3. Place the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor.
  4. Grind into a uniform batter.
  5. Form into balls, form into tot shapes, optionally roll in additional breadcrumbs, and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake! Serve warm with ketchup, if desired.

TIP: If you’re making these for toddlers who are 1, or older babies, I’d recommend leaving the crunchy coating off. For older kiddos, it’s a fun and satisfying texture though!

cauliflower tots on parchment paper

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I freeze these Cauliflower Tots?

Absolutely! Let them cool fully, then place into a zip top freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. See the note at the bottom of the recipe for how to warm them from frozen to serve.

What should I serve these tots with?

Honestly, we sometimes just eat them as a stand along meal since they have a few food groups tucked inside, but they would also be a nice side dish for fish, chicken, or scrambled eggs. Or simply paired with fruit and milk!

Are Cauliflower Tots healthy?

This recipe is packed with whole grains from the quinoa, veggies from the cauliflower and protein and healthy fats from the cheese and egg. They’re also baked, which adds to their ease and nutrition profile.

What should Cauliflower Tots be dipped into?

You can try ketchup, Ranch, Cucumber Sauce, Ranch, or any other dip or sauce your family likes.

baked cauliflower tots on white plate

How to Store

Store  for 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container.

Reheat in the microwave or for about 5 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Or, let cool fully and store in a zip top freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. To warm from frozen, place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes at 375 degrees F.

Best Tips for Success

  • Cook your quinoa so it’s completely soft and allow to cool before starting the recipe.
  • You can cook the quinoa up to 3 days ahead and store it in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • If you have any trouble with the batter sticking as you form the tots, pop it into the fridge for a few minutes. I never have had a major issue, even though the batter is fairly sticky, but that would help if needed.
  • Use a measuring spoon to portion out the tots. If they’re all pretty close to the same size, they’ll cook evenly.
  • Roll the tots in additional breadcrumbs for a slightly crispier outside.
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten-free flour and gluten-free breadcrumbs.
  • Let them cool slightly before you serve them and break them into smaller pieces for younger toddlers and older babies as needed.
  • You could also cook cauliflower rice, which you can find pre-packaged from the grocery store.
  • You may also like Veggie Nuggets, Broccoli Tots, and Baked Chicken Nuggets.

Let me know if you make the recipe—I’d love to hear what your family thinks of it!

This post was first published October 2019.

cauliflower tots on white and red plate

Homemade Cauliflower Tots

With quinoa, cauliflower, and cheese, these healthy little tots are a great finger food for kids. This recipe makes about 20 tots, which is 4-6 servings for toddlers—or 1-2 servings for adults.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 52 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dinner
Calories 240kcal
Servings 4 (Makes about 20)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cauliflower florets (chopped)
  • 1 cup fully cooked quinoa (slightly cooled)
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pizza seasoning or cumin (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Bring a kettle of pot of water to a boil. Place cauliflower into a heat-safe bowl and pour water over top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Drain and spread onto a clean kitchen towel. Pat dry well.
  • Place the cauliflower, quinoa, cheeses, egg, 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, flour, salt, and spices, if using, into the bowl of a food processor. Grind into a uniform batter.
  • Form into 1-tablespoon balls, form into a tot shape, and place onto the prepared baking sheet. If you’d like to have the outsides crispy, coat each ball in the remaining breadcrumbs before placing on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 22-24 minutes. Serve warm with ketchup, if desired.

Video

Notes

  • Storage: Store  for 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • Reheat in the microwave or for about 5 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Or, let cool fully and store in a zip top freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. To warm from frozen, place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes at 375 degrees F.
  • Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free panko breadcrumbs and a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour blend.
  • Cook your quinoa according to package directions so it’s completely soft and allow to cool before starting the recipe.
  • You can cook the quinoa up to 3 days ahead and store it in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • If you have any trouble with the batter sticking as you form the tots, pop it into the fridge for a few minutes. I never have had a major issue, even though the batter is fairly sticky, but that would help if needed.
  • Use a measuring spoon to portion out the tots. If they’re all pretty close to the same size, they’ll cook evenly.
  • Roll the tots in additional breadcrumbs for a slightly crispier outside.
  • Let them cool slightly before you serve them and break them into smaller pieces for younger toddlers and older babies as needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 4tots, Calories: 240kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 49mg, Sodium: 277mg, Potassium: 349mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 138IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 101mg, Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. Love your recipes! Was in the process of making it and I think you have a typo with the breadcrumbs in the content list and then lower when you talk about mixing the items in together. One spot says 1/4 and one spot says 2 tablespoons

    1. Hi! The ingredient list says 1/4 cup divided, so you use 2 tablespoons (or half the total) in the mixture and the you use the rest of the them to roll the tots in. Sorry that was confusing!

  2. Looks like a great recipe. Can you please confirm if the amount of Quinoa is 1 cup of cooked vs I cup of raw quinoa then cooked? I used I cup of raw quinoa then cooked it and it seemed like a lot. The batter also seemed very gooey and hard to form tot shapes despite placing in fridge for a bit.

    1. It should be 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa as stated in the recipe. It should hold together better with less of the quinoa!

  3. 5 stars
    I haven’t been able to get my toddler to eat cauliflower yet but he devoured these! I didn’t use the pizza seasoning. Thanks for a great idea for adding a new veggie in!

  4. 5 stars
    I loved the recipe but my toddler didn’t eat it. I will keep trying your recipes as I like how you hide the veggies in every bite! What is pizza seasoning ? Maybe if I had it he would have eaten it.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. There’s no way to predict what our kids will and won’t eat so maybe he’ll like they another day! Pizza seasoning is a spice mix often found in pizza sauce. It’s not magic so it’s possible he just didn’t want to try them when you offered them—nothing you did wrong. Toddlers have their own opinions!